Sunday, April 08, 2007

FIDDLIN’ at the MANESS POTTERY & MUSIC BARN


The Maness Pottery & Music Barn is a “must-see-to-be-believed” attraction in Moore County, North Carolina. It is open every Tuesday night, all year long, and features Blue Grass, Country and Gospel “pickin’ and singin”.

When my daughter and her husband were visiting me last year we decided to check it out. We were not disappointed. We found the barn six miles west of Carthage...a mere 30 minutes from my home...but light-years away from my usual Tuesday night.

The first thing that we noticed were the haphazardly parked cars lining the street and people of all ages streaming into the large barn. Many of them carried violins, banjos and other musical instruments and a lot of the women were toting food. The click, click of some shoes told us that there were cloggers among them. We hadn’t been sure what to wear but we found that it didn’t matter. The dress code was eclectic and we fit right in.

The crowd was rowdy, friendly and welcoming.
There was no admission charge and we made our way to the large auditorium where we were actually lucky to get a seat. The show had already begun and a group was performing on the huge stage that spanned the front of the room. It was a trio of fiddlers and the average age seemed to be around 70 ! They were wonderful and stomped and played to the delight of the audience.

On either side of the row of chairs was a wide aisle and we soon saw why. People of all ages and genders would suddenly get up & start to dance...some of them clogging and others just doing what felt good to them. An older man approached me and asked if I wanted to dance and I did ! It just seemed the thing to do and it proved to be fun for me and for all those that cheered us on.

We were to learn that it was considered a great honor to play at Clyde Maness’ barn. Musical groups of all types performed there and often a well-known Country or Blue Grass star would show up unannounced. The night we were there I heard a cello rendition of “The House of the Rising Sun” that was outstanding.

As I looked around the room I realized that there were many people there who would never see a Broadway show, or, frankly, be able to afford one. They could care less. A basket had been passed for donations and people paid what they could afford. No one was left out and everyone had a wonderful time.

It was a night to be remembered and we were still filled with music as we made our way home...tired but happy and ready to do it again the next time they come for a visit.

14 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I think I'd really enjoy that.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Melly` said...

It does sound wonderful! A few times a year the community here has festivals with some free and some.. relatively cheap music shows. They are a heap of fun for families - small children fall asleep on blankets on the ground...

Yep - to good times, music and dancing!

7:40 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

I like blugrass, and would surely enjoy that, but my daughter would surely thumb her nose at it - and me too! Maybe sometime I'll come down there and go with you.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

I love hearing live music, and believe that music, dancing, and eating are the very essence of community -- something that many in this country have lost. One lesson I try to impart to my young students is that music is not only something you listen to (i.e. consume) but also something that you can and should MAKE.

Thanks for describing this special place!

5:37 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Ginny - I love your open positive approach to new experiences. I doubt that I will ever attend a festival like this, but I feel I've been there thanks to your colorful description.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I've been to a few music festivals and they are wonderful. The combination of music and comaraderie is hard to beat.

7:28 AM  
Blogger mjd said...

My husband and I are planning a trip to North Carolina this summer. Maybe it is time we came to enjoy a little Blue Grass. I think that I like this part best.
"A basket had been passed for donations and people paid what they could afford. No one was left out and everyone had a wonderful time."

6:53 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

That sounds like fun!

8:33 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

I have relatives in NC and a friend I visit in SC and I love the area. If I ever get down that way I will have to go there. Sound like a fun place to visit.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Now THAT is what I call a great and fun family time. Music is wonderful to share :)

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

This sounds like a wonderful place. And such a shame more towns don't get involved with something like this. I could just picture you, kicking up your heels with that gentleman.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife and I live half the year in NC and attend the Tues night Maness barn "Bluegrass" whenever we can. It is a special time in our week. Partly the music, partly the spirit, partly the company, partly the friendliness, etc etc it means a lot to us. You have to do it to understand.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Katie Kidd said...

I live about 20 mintues from Clyde's Barn & I go almost every Tuesday Night! I go with my family & friends & the only other place I go on Tuesday's is the Fire Dept I am on. I love going down there & seeing my friends & sing when they can get me on stage, Haha! My Daddy & Clyde have played together mulyiple timed & if you get the chance to go through some of his picture albums you'll see them both together & they can tell you who's made it big & who's paased on or still just pickin' like they do! If you live close by & never been, you are missing out!! GET DOWN THERE! =) It's Great!

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also live near Clydes'. I go as often as I can, it is the bluegrass version of going to a Dead or Phish Concert... more than just the music, it is an entire event! Clyde walks around and greets everyone who attends, he also will pick up a bass or guitar and join in when the mood strikes. The women bring covered dishes of food.
Depending on the week, as many as 100 musicians can show up... some play, some dont... and you never know who may be there. The people are friendly, and welcoming with a down home NC country spirit.

10:59 PM  

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